Former Shenzhen mayor given suspended death penalty for bribery

13:13, May 09, 2011      

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A court in central China's Henan Province has sentenced Xu Zongheng, former mayor of the southern city of Shenzhen, to death with a two-year reprieve for taking bribes.

The Intermediate People's Court of Zhengzhou, capital of Henan, also ordered the confiscation of Xu's personal assets and stripped him of his political rights.

The court found that Xu, 56, accepted more than 33.18 million yuan (about 5.1 million U.S. dollars) in bribes from building material companies and lower-ranking officials between 2001 and 2009 when he served in several high-ranking government positions in Shenzhen.

A court verdict said Xu had abused his power and sought profits by helping nine units or individuals change land development plans, win construction project contracts or seek promotion.

The death sentence was suspended for two years because Xu confessed to his crimes, the verdict said.

Xu became mayor of Shenzhen in 2005 and was removed from the post for "serious disciplinary violations" in June 2009.

Source: Xinhua
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